Everyday: As vintners recently and rapidly have learned how to deal with crummy-climate vintages, white Burgundies have gotten better and more reliable. A paragon of consistent yumminess is the J.J. Vincent & Fils Bourgogne Blanc, which has way more verve and depth than one would expect for $18. This is chardonnay for people who don’t like chardonnay, with smooth Key lime and tropical-fruit flavors and just-right acidity providing a fresh finish. A not-so-simple pleasure for patio sipping, this also would pair well with spring greens (sautéed or in salads) and some nice plump shrimp off the barbie.
Occasion: OK, I’m admittedly on a Washington kick, having posted about that state’s reliably swell reds already this week. A great examplar is the Dusted Valley “Stained Tooth” Columbia Valley Syrah ($32), a rustic, plummy “” and grape-y “” “foot-trod” (according to co-winemaker Chad Johnson) wine. The fruit is gorgeous, and touches of smoke add to the already prevalent richness and depth. It’s tempting to call this wine “fun,” even though most folks reserve that descriptor for less expensive, less “serious” wines. Try it with grilled spring lamb or beef, from a Porterhouse to your favorite burger preparation.